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The music from the Hall of Gathering wafted its way through the marble arches calling the Seeker’s attention back to the farewell feast being prepared inside. Part of her heart ached at the thought of saying goodbye to those who had loved her for so long, yet she also felt eager to make her farewells and set out on her quest. She waved her hand through the air dispersing the symbols still floating around her and returned to the Hall where the others were already gathering.

20160514_120919As she entered, her gaze fell upon a large white lily, the usual centerpiece for the feast table. It’s potent scent overwhelmed her senses, and her mind was unexpectedly arrested with a clarity she had never known. Before her a vision rose up from the center of the flower. A vision of a beautiful woman dressed, somewhat immodestly, in red garments. Red… What was it Mother had said? Red for courage and determination.

As the Seeker watched, the woman whirled and danced in time to the music, arms thrown open wide and inviting. How often, the Seeker mused, had she felt like dancing with joyful abandon as she walked the grounds of the temple mount and felt a release from the oppressiveness of the temple walls. The same joy that radiated from this beautiful woman.

The dance, however, displayed a sense of happiness and playfulness that had always seemed lacking in the Seeker’s sisters. She looked around at the young women. They were content with their lives, content with being told what to do, where to go, how to order every aspect of their days. And suddenly the Seeker knew the scent of the lily was more than a lovely smell. It was an aphrodisiac that acted as an opiate to keep them all sedated to their natural curiosities and needs.

Her eyes were suddenly opened, and she saw how she had been lulled into unquestioningly accepting every precept she’d been taught as truth. The insight gave her an exhilarated feeling like that she had sensed on the knoll. Yet it was also provocative. And as she watched the dancer spin and spin, she realized caution would be required in handling her new-found freedom for with it came all manner of unforeseen temptation.

Then as quickly as it had appeared, the vision vanished and the Seeker felt a great sadness for her sisters, for their loss of enlightenment and independence. Knowing, however, that this knowledge was a gift only the Creator could impart, her heart was filled with grief and an even greater love for them.

The Seeker took the place of honor at the banquet table set with three large cups of grapes and other delicious fruit. One final time she would share the hospitality and community of the temple with her sisters, then she would go forth and find what it was a Seeker was meant to find.

© Cheryl D. Carter

Part 2 — Leap of Faith
Part 4 — Blessing

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Picture Credit — personal (see also www.aeclectic.net)

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